Why is There Funding for War But Never for Climate finance, Ask Feminists

A feminist coalition called for feminist approaches to combatting climate change. Credit: Umar Manzoor Shah/IPS
A feminist coalition called for feminist approaches to combating climate change. Credit: Umar Manzoor Shah/IPS
  • by Umar Manzoor Shah (dubai)
  • Inter Press Service

US-based Feminist Green New Deal Coalition shared at a press conference that to truly address the root causes, as well as the scope and scale of the climate crisis, feminist approaches and principles are necessary for a cross-cutting approach that combats historical oppression and uplifts the leadership of marginalized groups.

Katherine Quaid (Confederated Tribes of Umatilla) and communications coordinator, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN), Mara Dolan, US Program Manager, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Jacqui Patterson, Founder and Executive Director, The Chisholm Legacy Project, Julia Bernal (Sandia Pueblo/Yuchi), executive director at Pueblo Action Alliance, and Dr Frances Roberts-Gregory, a feminist political ecologist at Harvard University, spoke during the conference.

The participants called for a paradigm shift, urging feminists to unite against environmental injustices by incorporating Indigenous wisdom, supporting regenerative economies, and demanding a just transition to create a more equitable and sustainable world.

Dolan said that the coalition firmly asserted that no military spending can be truly sustainable.

“Our advocacy extends beyond the call for "green" militaries to a resolute commitment to organizing against militarization.The alarming reality of the US funding the genocide of the Palestinian people raises questions about misplaced financial priorities. We question why there is always funding for war but never for climate finance,” she said.

According to Patterson inequities, profiteers dominate governance systems all over the world, putting racial justice issues on the back burner.

“To counter this, we demand representation for frontline defenders in decision-making spaces related to water, energy, and environmental policies. Acknowledging the environmental consequences of US imperialist practices, we recognize and welcome those who migrate due to the adverse effects on their environment, fostering insecure circumstances,” Patterson said.

Bernal, who is Executive Director at Pueblo Action Alliance on Climate Change and Soil Impact, emphasized the urgency of addressing climate change and highlighted the impact on land and soil, which “if left unattended, could result in faster water movement, floods, and a diminishing supply of usable water.”

On Indigenous Wisdom and Resistance, Dr Frances Roberts-Gregory said that the Indigenous people, often undermined by states, hold valuable knowledge in caring for the land and water. “Their traditional models should be uplifted to protect both the environment and its people.”

The speakers also underscored feminist solutions grounded in activist research, challenged data analysis, and advocated for a just transition.

“We underscore the importance of regenerative economies, youth activism, and respecting Indigenous rights and knowledge. We stress the significance of storytelling to prevent the erasure of experiences. In the pursuit of a common goal, we call for unity, leaving behind our differences to confront a larger, shared enemy,” was their message.

In early 2019, a collaboration emerged among organizations advocating for women's rights and climate justice. Acknowledging the importance of integrating feminist perspectives into discussions about a healthy planet and communities, these groups recognized gender equality as a pivotal element.

The need for a feminist intervention led to the creation of the Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal.

“The agenda, shaped collectively, will continue to evolve through campaigns and initiatives beyond Fall 2019, with its future direction determined collaboratively,” said Quaid.

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